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Title: Redefining car-bus interchange to reduce traffic
Author: Meek, Stuart
ISNI:       0000 0004 2686 9572
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2010
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Bus-based Park and Ride (P&R) schemes have become increasingly popular over the past 40 years in the UK, as a result of them being considered a positive traffic reduction policy by many, not least local authorities. There have nevertheless been concerns over the true effects of P&R. For instance, surveys of P&R users have long since revealed that up to a third transfer from conventional public transport. This induces car travel for the access portion of the P&R trip, which is generally large compared to the bus portion, owing to the edge-of-town location of P&R sites. Combined with the mileage effects of high-frequency bus services, evidence has suggested that P&R may thus result in an increase, compared to alternative travel behaviour, in the mean vehicle miles travelled (VMT) of its users. This thesis aims to investigate how UK bus-based P&R may be developed to reduce users VMT. As such, it applies to P&R the Characteristics Approach to Consumer Demand and delineates the attributes of interchange from which users derive utility. The research also develops this approach to consider the characteristics that affect the traffic impacts of P&R. The characteristics of P&R are adjusted to provide alternative concepts of interchange that aim to reduce VMT. These concepts are then examined to understand the level of utility that they are likely to provide. Local authorities perceptions of utility are examined initially, through a national survey which also looks at general attitudes towards P&R, its effects and its future. The city of Cambridge (UK) is selected as a case study in which an in-depth document analysis and interview survey of local stakeholders is carried out to understand the role of P&R in local policy and the implications of the implementation of alternative concepts of interchange. In this context, a survey of P&R users is also undertaken which considers the VMT effects of the current and alternative concepts of P&R as well as the change in the level of utility that would be derived from using them. It is concluded that local authorities generally consider P&R to be an effective policy in reducing car use whilst also playing important roles in the local economy and political arena. Yet the evidence on the Cambridge P&R scheme suggests that VMT is increased to a higher degree than previously proven. Alternative concepts of interchange are shown to offer some potentially significant benefits by reducing the VMT of users. Furthermore, some of the alternative concepts are also shown to offer benefits in terms of the utility that they may provide to the user, and the perceptions on this by local authorities. The VMT and utility results are combined to suggest that future implementation of interchange should consider operating feeder bus services into interchange sites (an intermediate solution offering some VMT benefits with relatively small resource requirements) or, operating a series of small interchange sites along main access routes to host cities (likely to require more resources but providing significant VMT benefits).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Transport ; Interchange ; Bus ; Park and Ride ; VMT ; Utility